A data-driven method for syndrome type identification and classification in traditional Chinese medicine

Nevin Lianwen ZHANG, Chen FU, Teng-Fei LIU, Bao-Xin CHEN, Kin Man POON, Pei Xian CHEN, Yun-ling ZHANG

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatments for Western medicine (WM) diseases relies heavily on the proper classification of patients into TCM syndrome types. The authors developed a data-driven method for solving the classification problem, where syndrome types were identified and quantified based on statistical patterns detected in unlabeled symptom survey data. The new method is a generalization of latent class analysis (LCA), which has been widely applied in WM research to solve a similar problem, i.e., to identify subtypes of a patient population in the absence of a gold standard. A well-known weakness of LCA is that it makes an unrealistically strong independence assumption. The authors relaxed the assumption by first detecting symptom co-occurrence patterns from survey data and used those statistical patterns instead of the symptoms as features for LCA. This new method consists of six steps: data collection, symptom co-occurrence pattern discovery, statistical pattern interpretation, syndrome identification, syndrome type identification and syndrome type classification. A software package called Lantern has been developed to support the application of the method. The method was illustrated using a data set on vascular mild cognitive impairment. Copyright © 2017 Journal of Integrative Medicine Editorial Office.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-123
JournalJournal of integrative medicine
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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Chinese Traditional Medicine
Medicine
Blood Vessels
Software
Research
Population
Surveys and Questionnaires

Bibliographical note

Zhang, N. L., Fu, C., Liu, T. F., Chen, B.-X., Poon, K. M., Chen, P. X., et al. (2017). A data-driven method for syndrome type identification and classification in traditional Chinese medicine. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 15(2), 110-123.

Keywords

  • Medicine, Chinese traditional
  • Syndrome
  • Syndrome classification
  • Latent tree analysis
  • Symptom co-occurrence patterns
  • Patient clustering
  • Stand syndrome differentiation